On April 2, 1513, Juan Ponce de León landed somewhere along the east coast of Florida.
Juan Ponce de León from Herrera’s Historia General, published between 1601 and 1615
More than 500 Native American nations inhabited the Americas at the time of first contact. The arrival of European and African peoples forever changed life on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and initiated environmental and demographic changes that continue to the present day.
Peruuiae Avrifer Regionis Typus, by Abraham Ortelius, ca. 1584
On March 27, 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León first sighted the coast of the land he named “La Florida.” His expedition came ashore several days later and became the first documented Europeans or Africans to set foot in North America since Vikings in the 11th century.
On March 19, 1565, King Philip II of Spain appointed Pedro Menéndez de Avilés Adelantado (Governor and Captain-General) of Florida.
Menéndez is credited with ousting the French from Fort Caroline and establishing the colony of St. Augustine in 1565.